Reichstag Fires on Campus
A recent racial incident at the University of Iowa has brought to light what has been a scandalous trend in U.S. higher education. For several days, a black male dental school student received numerous racist e-mails, and the campus erupted in predictable rage. Students held rallies and candlelight vigils amid demands for more "diversity training."
Alas, the story has an "unhappy" ending. The sender of those e-mails was not a David Duke-loving white racist, but rather another dental students, this one black and female. Once again, a supposed egregious racist attack on black university students was a fraud. Police arrested the perpetrator, but the long-term disposition of the case is in doubt.
This was not an isolated incident. In the last few years, there have been a number of "racial attacks" at college campuses in which a student has alleged an assault only to have the authorities find out later that the whole thing was a lie. For example, a white female student at Guilford College, a Quaker college in North Carolina, claimed to have been assaulted by the ubiquitous Angry White Males to punish her for having a black boyfriend. Not only were the perpetrators supposed to have beaten her, but they also wrote racist slogans across her chest, according to her accusation.
While it did not take long to find that the student's claims were lies, that was not the end of the story. In fact, her lies were only the beginning, as college officials quickly instituted the dreaded "diversity training" to re-educate the rest of the student body, and many people at Guilford praised the student for "raising awareness of racism."
In other words, even though there had been no presence of the dreaded "racism" at Guilford, college administrators were happy to institute what amounted to "struggle" sessions (made famous by the Chinese communists). The student whose lies started the whole thing faced no sanctions from Guilford's administration, and no wonder: her falsehoods enabled those administrators to proclaim a "crisis" that needed immediate resolution.
At Emory University a few years before the Guilford saga, a black female student fainted after "discovering" racist slogans written with lipstick hidden under a small throw rug in her dormitory room. After the required anti-racism rallies, candlelight vigils, and implementation of "diversity training," it was found out that the girl had written the slogans herself.
Alan Kors of the University of Pennsylvania, Paul Craig Roberts, and others have well documented how these modern re-education sessions operate, but suffice it to say they are not pleasant for their main targets: heterosexual caucasian male students. Why administrators and their supporters find it necessary to force such activities upon youngsters whose families pay big bucks to be on campus is testament to the arrogance of the political left. (Why parents would pay for their children to be put through this humiliation is proof that many middle and upper-class Americans have come to despise freedom itself.)
That they must often depend upon contrived incidents is proof that much "diversity" training is an exercise of intellectual bankruptcy. Such tactics, unfortunately, are reminiscent of another very successful fraud: the Reichstag Fire of 1933.
On January 30, 1933, Hitler became chancellor (or prime minister) of Germany after his National Socialist Party won 40 percent of the national vote during the 1932 elections. In February, 1933, his band of hoodlums secretly permitted the burning the Reichstag (parliament) building but blamed it on communists and Jews.
In the wake of the Reichstag fire, the German parliament gave the Nazis full authority to do whatever they wanted. Rule of law became rule of thuggery, as the government stripped citizens of any rights they might once have enjoyed in that formerly civilized country, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and private property rights. The rest is history, as Hitler later joined forces with the communist Josef Stalin to trigger the Second World War.
College administrators might not be able to start another world war, but their main sponsor, the U.S. Government, unfortunately, does have that capability. It is easy to target the various frauds in the academic world for this reenactment of the Reichstag fire, complete with totalitarian-style "rules" to counter these fake "upsurges" in racism, but one must always keep in mind that the federal government is the real engine behind this activity.
The sorry practice of totalitarian reeducation begins with federal agencies, who have the same practices themselves. Like their college counterparts, federal employees are herded into groups in which middle and upper-class blacks, homosexuals, and females attack white male workers who are blamed for every ill known to humanity, not unlike the accusations Hitler and his Nazi followers made against the Jews.
For example, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt requires Interior employees to attend sessions in which they are instructed that any reservations they might have against homosexual behavior are evil and must be purged from their being. Dissent because of religious belief is not permitted and those who might disagree are roundly attacked by supervisors and told in no uncertain terms that their careers at Interior are dead.
Of course, the federal government does not stop just with providing examples of how to browbeat social "undesirables" into submission. The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Education are constantly on the hunt for new Reichstag fires.
Once an "incident" is discovered, federal agents descend upon the campus to team up with radical students and administrators, who quickly announce new diversity training.
Even after it is often discovered that the incidents which triggered the ruckus have been a sham, someone invariably praises the perpetrators for "raising awareness" of "the dangers of racism," regardless of the facts. In the same way that Hitler "raised awareness" of the "threat" of World Jewry after Reichstag, the federal government constantly reminds us of the present danger posed by the white heterosexual male who refuses to grovel before his tormentors.
(Perhaps had Yugoslavia instituted diversity training for its entire society a few years ago, the Clinton Administration might not have found it necessary to bomb the Serbians into submission.)
While the current rage of "diversity" at college campuses does not seem to have prospects of abating anytime soon, the one thing that would stop the practice dead in its tracks would be someone forcing the federal government to obeying the U.S. Constitution. Without Uncle Sam's practice of turning colleges and universities into Maoist re-education centers, campus administrators would be on their own.
Institutions of higher learning which choose not to browbeat a large portion of their student body into submission would not have to worry about federal overseers slapping sanctions upon them, and could advertise that fact. Thus, they could improve their competitive status compared to colleges and universities which choose to continue such practices.
The way to stop modern Reichstag fires is to stop rewarding the perpetrators. However, as long as the federal government and its supporters continue to insist upon blind obedience to policies that mandate "diversity training" for the entire population, we can expect individuals to emulate their example.
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William Anderson teaches economics at North Greenville College. Send him MAIL.